I 've been thinking about why I love Ugly Betty so much. Yes, the show is well produced and the performances are fun. But I think it mostly has to do with the visual feast created by the genius or two behind the set and costume design. And it is in the small details: Betty's clothes and home environment (gotta love that kitchen!) and also her neighbor's and rival's place. Take a close look at the details in Gina Compara's apartment. Whoa! THAT is exquisite set design to a tee--things you see for only fleeting minutes on a small screen--and yet they so wonderfully add to the character portrayal or the not-so-lovely Gina.
My favorite film makers pay enormous attention to set design and clothing. They go for the small things that are true to time and place and person in the stories.
Good book illustration pays the same kind of attention to detail. Especially in a book for kids, when you have a limited number of words to show who the main characters are and what they are about. You have to fill in the space with small details in the art that paint (both literally and figuratively) the whole picture. What does this guy like to wear? How does the girl decorate her room? Are there family pictures on the walls? Is the place neat or warmly disorganized?
These are the kinds of things I love to add to illustrations. It helps me know my characters more. It helps me to show the reader who the characters really are. We all form instant impressions about people without realizing it-and we do it because of the small details.
Yeah, I know. You would expect someone who collects so much junk to think this way. Can't help it.
Damnation to minimalism. Bring on the lawn ornaments!!